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The San Diego Border AHEC is hosted by Scripps Mercy Hospital of Chula Vista’s Community Benefits program. The AHEC provides continuing education programs for health professionals, rotations for health professions students in community-based sites; teaches health professions students and residents to conduct health education in the community and in clinics and a pipeline program for K-12 students in the underserved communities in south San Diego. The AHEC has a long history of successful programs to expose youth to health career opportunities. The pipeline programs aims to expand and build current school-based wellness, mentoring and clinical services to enhance, standardize, and evaluate the mentoring of underrepresented high school students. The overall goal is to increase the number of youth entering into careers in primary care.

Strategies include multi-disciplinary approaches to youth interventions. Since 2002, the AHEC has successfully conducted a School-to-Health Career Mentoring Program for low income, ethnic minority youth – primarily Latino. Approximately 60 students aged 16 to 18 are recruited each year from three high schools in Chula Vista, California. Since the program began, over 800 youth have participated in the mentoring. Of those youth that participated in follow-up evaluations, more than 75 percent have pursued further education or work in a health-related field. More than 30 health care

professionals per year serve as mentors, and are primarily recruited from a variety of primary health careers. The program responds to two public health priorities identified by California’s Department of Health Services: (1) to increase the number of low income ethnic minority youth entering health professions; and (2) to reduce health risk behaviors of low income, ethnic minority youth.

For more information, please contact the Center Director – Kendra Brandstein, PhD, MSW, MPH at

Click here to view the San Diego Border AHEC Brochure.